Friday, August 16, 2019

Deep Scar Vol 1. by Rossella Sergi

Deep Scar 
by Rossella Sergi
Tokyo Pop: Shojo Manga
August 20, 2019
204 Pages

Plot: Sofia is a quiet young woman who longs for more independence. When she moves to Turin for school, it's her first time away from her family and her boyfriend Luca. But her new roommate, Veronica, leads a life very different from hers: she prefers evenings in the company of beautiful boys! Luca dreads the influence of Veronica and her entourage on Sofia, and especially the presence of the enigmatic Lorenzo, who seems to be a little too interested in his girlfriend. (2019,

Review: I've read many Shojo mangas in the past and if you like this genre (shojo manga), then you may enjoy Deep Scar. It has many similar elements of most shojo mangas - romance, drama, peer-pressure, and a lot of emotional ups and downs between the two main characters. Deep Scar is a romance at heart, but it seems the drama will revolve around the other love interest, Lorenzo. The author does a good job drawing out the tension and suspense of how Lorenzo knows Sofia (even though she doesn't), and why he is trying to keep his distance from her - even though he obviously doesn’t want to. Not much is revealed about Lorenzo in this volume. He is still somewhat of a mystery. I would consider this manga more New Adult rather than Young Adult because the main characters are not in high school. Sofia is in her first year of college and is living with a roommate. She is a reserved girl who has an innocent relationship with her boyfriend Luca. But, you can foresee the drama that will unfold between Sofia, Luca, and Lorenzo, which is what will keep the reader interested in what happens next.

On the downside, the characters do act a little over the top in some cases which is more appropriate when it's for comedic purposes. But, since there is no comedy in this story it just didn't fit well. The artwork is of good quality and you can follow the storyline very well. Overall, Deep Scar is an interesting new manga series that will appeal to readers that enjoy young adult/new adult romance manga. It's clear the themes of this storyline will be more "adult" in nature as the series continues; however, there is nothing explicit in this manga so far. For ages 17 and up.

*A DRC was given for an honest review.

Rating: 3 Hearts!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Fight Write: How to Write Believable Fight Scenes by Carla Hoch

Fight Write: 
How to Write Believable Fight Scenes
by Carla Hoch
240 pages
Published by Writers Digest Books
June 11, 2019

Review: Writing a decent fight scene can be pretty difficult. As an aspiring writer myself, I wouldn’t know how to begin.  There is so much to consider that it can be overwhelming. Fight Write by Carla Hoch is a great resource! Writing a fight scene is not just about how to write kicks and punches. There are weapons, fighting styles, injuries, and so much more!  I had not considered many of the things outlined in this book. There is so much to writing realistic fight scenes, such as character motive, weather conditions, where to fight (place), differences in what would kill or just injury someone, weapons and how to use them, etc… 

Fight Write also gives you the vocabulary used to describe the different fighting styles. You learn to think about the Who, Where, and Why of your fight scene for all characters involved. I definitely would recommend this in print because I think it is easier to make notes and tag certain pages! Illustrations would have made this resource even better! A great go-to reference for any author who wants to incorporate believable and realistic fight scenes!

*A DRC was given for an honest review.

Rating: 4 Hearts!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Lone Star Book Blogger Tour: A GLITTER OF GOLD by Liz Johnson ***EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY***

Georgia Coast Romance #2
   Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance / Mystery
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: August 6, 2019
Number of Pages: 368

***Scroll down for the giveaway!***

Discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but things do not go as planned. Carter is fascinated with the wreck, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she'd never do again: trust a man.
"Both an exciting treasure hunt and penetrating exploration of overcoming mistakes Johnson's excellent novel will captivate readers." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW


Chapter One, Part One of
A Glitter of Gold
By Liz Johnson

Anne Norris knew two things for certain. Some things could be forgiven. And some things most certainly could not.
At this moment, she was wondering if her mom would ever forgive her.
I don’t understand.” Her mom sighed heavily into the phone. “Hurricane Lorenzo is supposed to be bad.”
I know.”
Are you prepared for this thing?”
Anne nodded before remembering that her mom couldn’t see her. “Don’t worry,” she said, opening her pantry door and surveying the meager rations. “I’m watching the news. I’ll be fine.”
You can come home, you know.”
I know, Mom.” But it was more something she said because it was what her mom wanted to hear than reality. Because she really couldn’t. Going back to California wasn’t an option. It hadn’t been in exactly two years, three months, and twelve days.
Her mom paused, and there was a long silence on the
other end of the line. Anne leaned against the phone tucked between her ear and her shoulder as she traipsed across the sparsely furnished living room and peeked through the blinds to the street below. The wind had already started making the trees dance, and sporadic drops of rain had begun painting the sidewalk. But this would all be a walk in the park compared to the fury Lorenzo was about to unleash.
Is this about money? I know things are tight.”
That was an understatement. But it also wasn’t the deal breaker. Money was an issue, but California was the issue.
Thanks, but no. I’m fine. Really.” She sounded like she was trying to convince herself, and she didn’t like it one bit. Or maybe she really was trying to convince herself. That was even worse.
Suddenly a lone figure entered her view. Hunched shoulders. Arthritic hands clenching a grocery tote in one hand and a pink leash in the other. Mrs. Kane hadn’t exactly been on the welcome wagon, but she was her closest neighbor.
Mom, can I call you back?”
Are you all right?”
Anne reached for her shoes, untying the knots in the laces. “I need to check on my neighbor and her dog. I’ll call you in a few minutes.” She hung up without any more explanation.
She darted out the door and down the steps from her second-story apartment, reaching Mrs. Kane just as the older woman began her slow climb to the apartment in the back of the building. Princess, her fluffy Pomeranian, bounced at her feet as she clung to the metal railing and pulled herself up.
Mrs. Kane! Mrs. Kane!”
The woman turned around, squinting in Anne’s direction. “Who’s that?”
It’s your neighbor, Anne.”
After a long pause, Mrs. Kane nodded. “Okay then.”
You’re still here.” Anne didn’t know what else to say. She’d assumed that Mrs. Kane had evacuated with the other half of the city.
You sound surprised.” Mrs. Kane’s voice was loud enough to carry the half mile to the river and back. Her hearing aids were probably turned off. “My son wanted me to come stay with him in North Carolina, but that wife of his never liked me much.”
I, um . . .” Maybe this had been a stupid idea. Swallowing her sputter, Anne tried again. “I just wanted to see if you needed anything. You know, before the storm hits.” A lone raindrop splattered against her cheek, a reminder that it wasn’t far away.
Mrs. Kane managed a flicker of a smile just as the little ball of fur at her feet yipped. It had to be eighty degrees and 400 percent humidity outside, but she looked perfectly pleased in her yellow velour track suit. “It’ll take more than a Category 4 to scare away Mavis Kane. I always could sleep through the storms, my mama said.”
Of course.” Mrs. Kane was a Savannah native and not naive to the ways of hurricanes that sounded intent on tearing the whole city down. “Well, if you need anything, I . . .” Anne lost her words, not sure exactly what she wanted to say, so she began to turn.
Do ya have any peanut butter? Princess gets awfully cranky without her afternoon treat.” Her gaze dashed to the dog.
Peanut butter?” Anne’s tongue felt like it was coated with the stuff. With every ounce of her very last, very expensive jar.
Yes. Prinny just loves it, and the store was plumb out of it.” She held up her grocery bag. “You know, all those greedy hoarders storing up.”
Yes. She knew them. She probably qualified as one in Mrs. Kane’s book.
Anne nodded slowly. “I’d be happy to share.”
Mrs. Kane’s face softened. “We’d be grateful.”
I’ll be right back.”
The rain had already begun to make the metal slick, but she hurried up the stairs to her home. Her air conditioner chugged in the window on the far side of the room, barely making a dent in the weight of the air, but it was better than being outdoors.
When she opened her pantry door, she cringed. The shelves were small and contained a couple ten-cent packets of noodles and two jars of peanut butter. Hugging the unopened jar to her chest, she closed her eyes.
This—and the bread and jam in her fridge—was all she had. But it was enough to share.
As she walked past her counter, she snagged her purse and hefted it over her shoulder. She might as well face her landlord too before the storm hit.
Mrs. Kane took the peanut butter and cradled it as though it was treasure. “Thank you.”
Anne managed a full smile. “You and Princess take care of each other, okay?”
We always do.” With that the older woman shuffled up the steps to her apartment.

The rain had grown steady by the time Anne reached the front door of Maribella’s. The coffee shop took up the entire first floor of the white brick building. Before the Civil War, it had been a boardinghouse, and the upstairs rooms had been converted into apartments—all managed by Lydia Robin.
Anne cringed as she stepped inside, already preparing for the run-in.
You’re late,” Lydia said from behind the counter. The smile she offered to her customers was conspicuously absent.
Anne had been paying her rent at this counter for more than a year, and Lydia’s scowl was about as welcoming as a shark at the shore. “I know.” She dug into her floppy bag, her fingers searching out the sharp corners of the check she’d written earlier that morning. She tried to give Lydia a smile, but her effort faltered. “I’m sorry.”
Mm-hmm.” Forget Southern hospitality. Lydia had skipped the serving of sweet peach pie in favor of a double portion of sour apples.
Anne sighed and repeated her apology. She didn’t want to apologize again. She just wanted to find the check, which was playing a pretty convincing game of hide-and-seek in the depths of her purse while she jabbed her hand into the darkness. She’d spent five years and seven months cowing to bitter women who took advantage of their positions. And she’d moved three thousand miles to try to forget it all.

Liz Johnson is the author of more than a dozen novels, including A Sparkle of Silver, A Glitter of Gold, The Red Door Inn, Where Two Hearts Meet, and On Love’s Gentle Shore, as well asNew York Times bestselling novella and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Copies of both Georgia Coast Romance Series Books
+$25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card;


Copy of Glitter of Gold + $10 Starbucks Gift Card;

Copy of Glitter of Gold + Tote Bag

AUGUST 6-16, 2019
(U.S. Only)

Scrapbook Page
Bonus Post
Author Interview
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lone Star Book Blogger Tour: LIGHT FROM DISTANT STARS by Shawn Smucker ***ENTER GIVEAWAY***

Genre: Christian Fiction / Magical Realism / Rural Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 16, 2019
Number of Pages: 400

****Scroll down for Giveaway!****

When Cohen Marah steps over his father's body in the basement embalming room of the family's funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory. Over the next week, Cohen's childhood comes back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his parents' separation. The accident Cohen witnessed and the traumatic images he couldn't unsee. And the two children in the forest who became his friends--and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he's been avoiding: Is he responsible for his father's death? Master story weaver Shawn Smucker relays a tale both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is true, good, and genuine.


Shawn Smucker is the author of the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, as well as the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


Copy of Light from Distant Stars
+ Look to the Stars 8x5” Journal + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card; 
Copy of Light from Distant Stars + Personal Library Kit; 
Copy of Light from Distant Stars + $10 Starbucks Gift Card. 

July 17-27, 2019
BONUS post
Author Interview
BONUS Review
Top Five
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